For many years I struggled with the comparison game. Do you know the one?
Here’s the cycle: I want that. She/He has that. Why can’t I have that? There must be something wrong with me if I don’t have that.
Replace that with whatever desire resonates with you. Here are some common things that come up: a thin body, toned legs, a flat stomach, the perfect relationship, cute babies, a family, a big house, lots of money, great hair, the high-power job, oh the list goes on and on…
I believe that comparing ourselves to others has become the very source of much of our unhappiness. It’s also something that’s become inherently weaved in our culture with social media. We are constantly bombarded with images of what everyone else has, and therefore passively reminded of what we don’t have. But, it doesn’t have to be this way if we know how to manage it! The good news is that comparing ourselves to others is a choice we are in control of.
First, let me begin by saying that comparison can be motivating. It can give us direction and guidance. When we see what other people have we are able see what’s possible for ourselves, and strive to have a version of it that’s right for us. Comparing can ignite our imagination and light a fire within us to go after what we want, and in fact can make us believe that it’s possible.
But, then there’s the flip side of comparison. The not-so-nice side.
When other people have things that we want, we have the tendency to also believe there’s something fundamentally wrong with us if we don’t yet have it. Our brains go immediately to: I’m not good enough. You may think to yourself, we’re somewhat similar, how does she/he have it and I don’t? When a peer with similar circumstances has what we want, it’s easy to go to a self-critical place full of negative self-talk.
What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get it together? I’m so tired of being me. This is stupid. I’m stupid. I’ll never get what I want.
This is when comparison becomes debilitating and we block our own wisdom, evolution, and manifestation. We stunt our own growth, if you will.
So, how do we combat it? Well, I’ve had lots of practice, so allow me to share a little bit of wisdom with you.
First, understand your energy. Think of your energy as a wheel or disc. It’s spinning. This is the whole you. When we compare ourselves to others we open up a crack in our disc, allowing energy to spill out. Now the disc is incomplete. It’s open. We’re giving our energy away to something else instead of focusing on keeping our own complete. The point is, focus on yourself. Don’t waste your precious energy on what other people have, instead bring it back inward. Focus on what makes you feel complete and whole.
Part two of that is, focus on what you do have. Trust me, you have a lot. Changing our tune to appreciation and reflecting on all that we do have is very powerful. This could be in the form of honing in on what we’re grateful for or taking a look at things about yourself you love or are proud of having achieved. I realize that sometimes we are in such a dark place that this part can be hard, which brings us to our next point…
Believe you are worthy. Believe you are worthy of getting everything you want. The thing with unworthiness is that we don’t really know that we feel that way until someone mirrors it back to us. You might find yourself in an emotional conversation and out comes something like: Why would anyone ever love me? Or, that’s just not gonna happen for me. News flash: Yes it is! You just have to believe in yourself enough, and believe you are worth receiving it.
You also have to love yourself beyond measure. Remember, you are all that you have. And that is not meant to sound morbid, it’s merely meant to remind you that you have to be your own best friend. Would you treat someone you love the way you are currently treating yourself? Self-love starts with kind words. A great trick I learned is to simply start speaking to yourself in a loving way, even if it’s by putting your hand to your heart and asking, what’s the matter love? Start there.
Next (and this one’s a biggie), trust that everything is unfolding exactly as it should be. This can be one of the hardest concepts to grasp especially when we are anxious to have what we want. You must honor your own pace. Accept it. Know that it is perfect for you. Because there’s no one like you on the planet. Your pace might not be the pace of a peer or close friend, but it’s your pace, and it’s perfect because it is. Here’s a great prayer to practice on trusting in divine timing.
Finally, know that there is enough. There is plenty to go around. Just because someone has something you want doesn’t mean that there isn’t enough for you. This could be applied to relationships (there are plenty of fish in the sea, literally), jobs (there’s a million available), bodies (you have the capacity to inhabit a body you love irregardless of what someone else’s looks like, aka thin bodies don’t hit a max limit), money (there’s never a shortage of it for you), or business (there’s always someone who will want what only you can give). In short, this is truly believing there’s an abundance of everything for everyone instead of a lack or shortage.
So, test out applying these principles. Study them. Work through them. Watch yourself shift out of the comparison game. Oh and, another great concept to brush up on is envy vs. jealousy.